IT Governance

Keeping Up in an On-Demand World

Adaptation is about capturing a phenomenon happening ‘out there,’ external to the company, and replicating it inside the organization. Adaptation becomes challenging when the changes taking place outside of the firm are complex, fast-paced, and broad-ranging – as they now are in the field of technology. As Matthew Selheimer writes in an article for The ITSM Review, tech-savvy consumer culture is not waiting for the business to figure out what it wants. That’s IT’s job: to capture information for adapting to change.

People in Places

The first way to share information is to get BU managers talking to IT. Another name for this is service management. Each IT unit needs to have the proper delegates stationed in executive meetings to relay pertinent information back to their outfit. But don’t stop there, says Selheimer. Project managers, developers, and those in operations need to be in the loop. And there are plenty of technologies (like Jive) to help IT facilitate the communication process. New tools and approaches are especially useful for this transformation.

Evolving Technology

The challenge I see here (a lot) is that IT is still using the same techniques they’ve always been using for collaboration – meetings, emails, conference calls, sharepoint sites, spreadsheets. There is no substitute for meetings and face-to-face interactions and even conference calls are important, however, the challenge is how do we capture and disseminate that information so those in the meeting can refer back to it but ensure others that weren’t in the meeting can still have access to it?

Making Connections

Selheimer locates the crux of the complexity problem in what he calls “tribal knowledge.” Fragmented knowledge in a living, breathing, interconnected business system is anathema. What the organization needs is a genuine change management database (CMDB). With this tool, information can be logged, shared and updated – much the same way content is managed on Wikipedia. Having a log of who is involved in what process means that changes get approved faster and the organization can adapt in synch with the outside world.

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